Free Pattern: Knit Striped PomPom Hat

Helloooo! Hope everyone is staying warm amongst the mountains of snow (at least, here in upstate NY). It’s time for an updated free knit pattern!

This has become my go-to pattern for hat gifts. My first rendition was a ‘mommy and me’ set for a new mother and her baby boy. Her favorite color was a sort of seafoam green, which worked well for both mother and son. This is a truly unisex hat – I’ve made it for men, women, and small people of all sizes. I love making sibling sets, school colors, holiday colors… the possibilities are endless.

This hat, by no means, reinvents the wheel of knitted hats. It’s just a striped hat. In fact, I’ve already published two separate sizes of this. But, as I keep coming back to it, and making different versions, I thought it nice to consolidate it all here. (Plus I’ve gotten more efficient at writing patterns…) I’ve made it in both bulky and super bulky yarns. Using a roving yarn gives it a nice plushy squishy feel, and makes the most satisfying pompoms.


  • Bulky OR super bulky weight yarn (I’ve used Bernat Roving and Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick in the photos) – two contrasting colors, A and B
  • For bulky yarn: size 10 (6mm) or 10.5 (6.5mm) 16″ (41cm) circular knitting needles (check the recommended needle size on the yarn band), and matching DPNs
  • For super bulky yarn: size 13 (9mm) or 15 (10mm) 16″ (41cm) circular knitting needles (size 13 makes an average sized adult head, size 15 makes an XL sized adult hat), and matching DPNs
  • stitch marker to mark the end of row
  • (optional) pompom maker
  • large eyed needle for weaving in ends


This pattern is written for baby (child, adult) sizes


Using color A and size 13 circular needles (or 15 for XL adult), cast on 36 (38, 42). Join to work in the round and place marker. (Note: if you’re having trouble joining for the baby size, I like to cast on, knit the first row straight, then join it on the second row. I weave in the cast on tail later to close up any gaps.)

Rows 1-5 (6, 8): k1, p1 rib

Row 6 (7, 9): switch to color B. Knit one round.

Row 7 (8, 10): switch back to color A. Knit one round.

Continue to knit, switching colors every round, until hat measures approximately 4″ (5″, 6″) in length (10, 13, 16 cm). This was approximately 10 (12, 14) rows of stripes. End with color A. If needed, you can continue knitting in color B for a few more rows before beginning the decrease.

DECREASE (transfer stitches to DPNs as needed):

Row 1: switch to color B (you’re now done with color A) and begin decrease. *k4 (k4, k5), k2tog*. Repeat around (for child size, k2tog last two stitches).

Row 2: knit around

Continue rows 1 and 2, decreasing one st every other row until you have (12, 13, 14) st left on your needles, ending with row 2. (For child size, continue knitting the last lone stitch every row.) K2tog around (6, 7, 7) st. Cut yarn, weave tail through remaining live stitches and cinch tightly. Fasten off.

Add optional pompom!

Bernat Roving bulky yarn


Using color A and size 10/10.5 circular needles, cast on 48 (56, 64). Join to work in the round and place marker. (Note: if you’re having trouble joining for the baby size, I like to cast on, knit the first row straight, then join it on the second row. I weave in the cast on tail later to close up any gaps.)

Rows 1-6 (10, 12): k1, p1 rib

Row 7 (11, 13): switch to color B. Knit one round.

Row 8 (12, 14): switch back to color A. Knit one round.

Continue to knit, switching colors every round, until hat measures approximately 4″ (5″, 7″) in length (10, 13, 18 cm). This is about 12 (14, 18) rows of stripes. End with color A. If needed, you can continue knitting a few rows in color B until desired length before beginning decrease.

DECREASE (transfer stitches to DPNs as needed):

Row 1: switch to color B (you’re now done with color A) and begin decrease. *k6, k2tog*. Repeat around.

Row 2: knit around

Continue rows 1 and 2, decreasing one stitch every row until you have 12 (14, 16) st left on your needles, ending with row 2. K2tog around. Cut yarn, weave tail through remaining live stitches and cinch tightly. Fasten off. (If you want a less pointy top and a more gathered, scrunchy top, skip the k2tog round and weave through the 12 (14, 16) stitches.)

Add optional pompom!

Notes: when knitting stripes in the round, carry the alternate color up on the right side every time you switch colors. This prevents gaps. Give the yarn a little tug to tighten up the last stitch from the row below. (These photos were taken from my #hatnothate striped kids hat pattern, but the premise is the same.)

The joins on the inside of the hat
The seam runs down the middle of this photo

What’s your favorite go-to gift pattern?

Hat Not Hate Pattern Lineup

Hat Not Hate Pattern Lineup

Here is a list of all the patterns I used for my recent contribution to Lion Brand Yarn’s #hatnothate campaign. You can read more about it on their website. (Left): Bulky Knitted Hat by Close Knit Portland (@closeknitpdx) (Right): Ribbed … Continue reading

Super Bulky Knitted Kid’s Hat

In late 2018, I stumbled across Lion Brand’s #hatnothate campaign, a movement geared towards anti-bullying. The founder requested blue hats (the color against bullying… I didn’t know this was a thing, but there it is) to be worn or mailed to their offices. It was too late for me to mail any hats in, but I made a few blue hats and vowed to be more timely this year.


Early 2018 coincided with both 1) the birth of my (miracle!) third baby in 3.5 years and 2) the diagnosis of my 3 year old with autism. It also followed closely on the heels of moving to Slovakia in late 2017. Suffice to say I was quite overwhelmed with life, but the well-being of my children is the first and foremost important priority, especially in a lifestyle as hectic as ours. Thankfully, we have been blessed with a marvelous pre-K teacher for my son, along with friendly and loving classmates. I know the road ahead won’t be easy for him, and his beloved personality quirks may be met with resistance by his future peers. I am ashamed to admit that I have been both bullied and a bullier. The best I can do is to teach my own children to be compassionate and understanding, with the hope that they will grow up to be better adults than me.

I purchased ten #hatnothate wooden tags from the Lion Brand website with the ambitious task of mailing ten blue hats to their New Jersey office before the first of August. My first step was to gather all of my blue scraps. I was thrilled to find that with just a few small balls of Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick, I was able to squeeze out three hats!

Here is the ‘quick and dirty’ pattern below, for my own future reference and for you!


Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick (or other super bulky yarn) – I used scraps of two contrasting colors to make a striped hat

Size 13 circular knitting needles 16″

DPNs, size 13


Using main color, cast on 38 stitches to circular needle

Rows 1-6: alternate k1, p1 (1×1 ribbing)

Rows 7-8: knit around

Rows 9-10: switch to second color, knit around

Rows 11-12: switch back to main color, knit around

Continue with stripes until you have seven stripes total, ending with a stripe of main color

Row 21: switch to second color, knit around

Row 22: continuing with second color, k2, k2tog (you will have 2 stitches at the end of the row, knit each stitch individually)

Row 23: switch to main color, knit around

Row 24: k1, k2tog (knit last two stitches individually)

Row 25: switch to second color AND knit onto DPNs

Row 26: k2tog

Cut yarn, weave tail through remaining live stitches and cinch tightly. Fasten off.

Notes: when knitting stripes in the round, carry the alternate color up on the right side every time you switch colors. This prevents gaps. Give the yarn a little tug to tighten up the last stitch from 2 rows below and with the bulky yarn there was barely a noticeable jog in the stripes.


The joins on the inside of the hat


The seam runs down the middle of this photo

Enjoy this pattern!

Knitting Project: Au Naturale Knit Baby Booties

I am so excited for today’s project share with all of you! ¬†I first saw these ages ago on – you guessed it – Pinterest, and immediately fell in lurv. ¬†They didn’t have a name, pattern or any sort of copyright, so immediately I busted out my reverse engineering skills.

I love natural materials: wood, fiber, leather, etc. ¬†This project combines ALL THREE. ¬†It’s really straightforward… it modifies your basic mary-jane bootie pattern, and totally elevates the street value with just teeny additions of luxurious leather and wood. Once you show these babies off, your friends will universally acknowledge you as empress of the crafting universe. ¬†I’d also promise that you’ll also physically turn into Shakira’s doppleganger, but seeing as I’m still waiting for my hips to stop telling lies, I can’t guarantee that last bit.

Knitting Project: Au Naturale Knit Baby Booties | Classy Crochet

You will need the following:

  • DK yarn (preferably something including wool, just so you can feel uber natural, like your entire project came freshly sheared off of a humble sheep, hand scavenged from your local forest, and um, nobly sacrificed from whatever animal your leather belongs to…)
  • This pattern
  • Size 5 (or 6) knitting needles
  • Teeny tiny scraps of leather for the straps
  • Wood buttons (or you can use felt like the original link)
  • Yarn needle to sew up bootie seams
  • Something sharp to poke holes in your leather (embroidery needle or small awl)
  • Sharp scissors to cut said leather

I wasn’t planning on using the exact same color scheme as the original source, but when I went to Joann’s to find some appropriate DK yarn, they just so happened to have Paton’s DK superwash wool, in taupe, on clearance, for $.97 a skein. ¬†I mean, 97 cents, okay. ¬†Honestly, I would have never chosen taupe myself since by itself it’s kind of a weird yucky color, but it works perfectly here.

Quick insert of The Leather Saga:  (bear with me, it has an awesome ending.)

I first saw these shoes, oh, about 15 weeks ago (says Pinterest). The reason why it’s taken me so long to get these made is that I didn’t have the leather. ¬†I was in China without access to big box craft stores where I knew I could buy a patch for $3. ¬†Of course, I could probably have gone on another all-day adventure to find some, but my desire to procure a 1/2″x 2″ scrap simply to make some baby booties was not that high. ¬†Once I even walked by a leather stall in a random shopping area above a deserted Jinkelong, thought ooh, I should go back and beg a scrap sometime, but that didn’t happen either.

Then I came to the U.S. In my first few days I went to Michaels in search of leather. ¬†Their aisle marked “leather goods and tools” only contained felt, pom poms, and googly eyes. ¬†Fail, Michaels. ¬†I’ll look somewhere else. ¬†Turns out their aisles were simply mis-labeled, but fortuitous for me, because…

That very afternoon, I went home to my parents’ house, and whaddya know… there was a large pile of leather scraps sitting on their living room table. ¬†You know, the kind with metal grommets that probably once belonged to a furniture store as their color samples. ¬†It turns out a friend of theirs had bought them for pennies at a garage sale, never figured out a use for them, she bu de (there’s that word again – couldn’t bear to) throw them out, so she gave them to my mom when SHE moved back to China, and there they sat, because my own mom was she bu de to throw them away either.

Anyway, story summary: my mom had literally two pounds of free leather scraps, was never planning on using them, but was never planning on throwing them away either. ¬†So now… THEY’RE MINE!! And they were ALL FREEEEE! ¬†And when I say “leather scraps”, I mean… LEATHER SCRAPS:

Knitting Project: Au Naturale Knit Baby Booties | Classy Crochet

1) How many booties could I make with this??? 2) I started a new Pinterest board entitled “Leather Scrap Projects” and I need your input please. ¬†ūüôā

Okay, end of story, back to project.

Start knitting your booties using this pattern. ¬†The pattern says size 6 needles will net 6-12 month booties. I used size 5 and mine were about 3.5″ long, which was what I was going for. ¬†STOP knitting after row 16. ¬†Bind off and sew up booties. ¬†They’ll basically be little shoes.

Obtain leather scrap by whatever means necessary.  You should be able to just use sharp scissors to cut it, no need for special tools here.

Knitting Project: Au Naturale Knit Baby Booties | Classy CrochetCut two long skinny strips for straps. ¬†This took a bit of trial and error for me. ¬†Make sure they’re thick enough to poke at least one hole to sew onto your shoe – I wanted it thick enough for two holes, so mine are pretty thick.

Second obstacle: poking holes into said leather. ¬†After many days of searching stores for little teeny leather hole punchers or something of the sort, it turns out my mom also had a very random mini-awl that she picked up on the streets of Taiwan for like 60 cents. ¬†You can probably just use a sharp needle and a thimble (so you don’t skewer yourself). ¬†I wanted to use yarn for my sewing so I needed a bigger hole, but a needle will work just fine with regular embroidery thread.

Poke holes into leather on both sides. ¬†I wanted four, but my leather wasn’t big enough, so I just poked two holes and did one stitch on each end. ¬†Using yarn scraps or embroidery thread, sew one side onto the shoe, sew the other side through at least one (or all) of your buttonholes. ¬†Step back, admire your work, and wait for the compliments to come showering in!

Happy knitting!

Knitting Project: Au Naturale Knit Baby Booties | Classy Crochet

Free Pattern: Knit Fisherman Ribbed Hipster Hat

One day (like, back in December-when-it-was-still-cold one day), as I was trawling across Pinterest like I do, I came across this pin:

The caption of the pin read: “DIY Incredible Knitted Mustard Hat – Super Easy and Awesome”. ¬†Ooh! ¬†I thought. ¬†Super easy awesome free knitted hat pattern! ¬†So I clicked it. ¬†The link took me here: a fashion design blog written in French, with beautiful designs, gorgeous handmade products for sale, and nary a knitting pattern in sight.

So, being the masochist that I am, I decided to figure out the pattern by myself. ¬†It couldn’t be that hard, right? ¬†Just some sort of rib with a wide wale, and a huge pompom on top?

As my not-so-subtle leading question would imply, with any pattern I attempt to replicate, the project took me many, many, many evenings of researching knitted rib patterns, figuring out how they work in the round, how to decrease them, the appropriate gauge, etc etc etc. ¬†However, after many dribbling tears, I think I’ve finally got this hat (more or less) in my adult head size.

The trick to this hat is a stitch known loosely as “brioche”, or “fisherman rib”, or “prime rib”… honestly, I have no idea what the technical term is, because each of those stitches has a few different variations. ¬†Plus, the skills behind each stitch varied excessively widely from one source to the next. ¬†There were all sorts of skippings, slippings, knitting fronts and backs, etc. ¬†But, the one I found to be the easiest was the most straightforward: k1, k1 below, repeat. ¬†The end. ¬†The result is a very stretchy, giving fabric.

(I think *technically* the stitch in the pictured hat above is a “brioche“, vs. the stitch I’m using is “fisherman rib“, or a “brioche rib“, but whatever, my version is easy and it gets the point across, yes?)

DSC_0369 DSC_0367

(Please excuse my ghetto-fabulous styrofoam head purchased for $2.99 at a thrift shop. ¬†It suffered major structural damange in the move to China. ¬†At least the hat covers the giant dent in the top of the head…)

I’ve used my ever-favorite Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick N Quick yarn, and size 13/15 16″ circular needles for this project. To replicate the beautiful smooth design of the original photo, I assume you can use a nice fancy thick single ply roving alpaca wool. ¬†One of these days I’ll actually pony up and buy some.

To knit this hat, you will need to know the following:

  • k1 below
  • p1 below
  • k2tog
  • ssk

K1 below and p1 below sound waaay scarier than they really are.  Here is a picture tutorial on how to do both from the ever-dependable Purl Bee.  Here is a great video for k1 below, and here is a great video for p1 below.  Read/watch through them, be ready to try them out.  Ready? Okay!

Cast on 42 stitches with size 13 needles (16″ circular).  Join to work in the round and place marker.

Rows 1-5: k1, p1 rib

Row 6: switch to size 15 needles.  K2tog, p1 below, repeat around. (28 st left)

NOTE 1: On this row, when you p1 below, you will be purling into a knit stitch every other purl due to the stitch groupings of 3.  Do not be alarmed.  Purl into the knit stitch (BELOW, drop that top loop off!) and continue with faith.  You will also have what seems to be now a ridiculously small hat.  Again, faith, my friends, and carry on!

Row 7: k1 below (into the k2tog stitch), p1 as normal into the p1 below stitch from previous row.  Repeat around.

NOTE 2: this row is going to look like a hot mess. You’re going to wonder if you’re doing it right, because it looks really ugly; there will be weird lumps and loops everywhere. ¬†Keep that faith going – it’ll be about four rows of ribbing before the hat pattern starts to look ‘right’. ¬†I promise it looks better on your head.

A quick photo tutorial on “k1 below into k2tog stitch”:


Here, I’ve just purled normally, and am ready to k1 below into the k2tog from previous row


I’ve circled the two loops of the k2tog. Insert your needle through both loops to k1 below.


Insert your needle into the aforementioned loops…


Knit and draw your loop through…


Now the scariest part: lift the top loop off of the needle and drop it. Yes, drop it!


I like to give the back of the loop a bit of a tug to loosen it up. It will feel like you’re intentionally dropping a stitch and pulling it apart, but you’re NOT. Have faith! ¬†This extra yarn is what creates the nice stretchy fabric between ribs.

Row 8: k1 as normal (into k1 below stitch), p1 below.  Repeat around.

Row 9: k1 below, p1 as normal (into p1 below stitch).  Repeat around.

Rows 10 and on: repeat rows 8 and 9 until hat measures about 6.5-7″ in length. ¬†(This was about 12 rows of fisherman rib for me.) ¬†Make sense? ¬†You’ll be alternating k1/p1below and k1below/p1 every row.


This is what your hat will look like after several rows. It looks way too small, but it will magically stretch. A lot.

Decrease sequence: (transfer onto DPNs at this point)

Row 1-3: k1, p1 in a regular rib around. (Keep these rows loose otherwise they bunch up from the fisherman rib)

Row 4: k2tog, repeat to end of round.

Row 5: knit

Row 6: ssk, repeat to end of round.  Draw tight, fasten off.

Make extremely large pompom.  (As always, I tout my extra large pompom maker from Clover.) You’ll have two tails from tying it together; use these to thread into hat, sew a few stitches to secure, and then tie a square knot.  Secure some more, and fasten off.  The very top of the hat will look a little off from the fisherman rib.  The pompom should cover up any weirdness.

Squash hat on head and proceed to feel very hipster.  Hooray for hipster hats!

DSC_0374 DSC_0373

FINAL NOTE: you can probably make this hat easily using a real brioche stitch and you will probably end up with better results.  Be sure to let me know if you do.

Follow along with the project gallery on Ravelry!

“In the round”… sweet, sweet knitting love

So, I’ve been knitting for a year now. ¬†I’ve learned a *lot* of things. ¬†I still have a million light years to go. ¬†There is just SO MUCH terminology out there! ¬†It’s literally learning a new language as well as a whole world of knowledge that is completely non-existent outside the yarn microcosm, and therefore nothing you’d ever just pick up by osmosis, like watching people play poker in the movies and knowing that if it were ever you, definitely don’t bleed from your eye when you’re bluffing. ¬†That will always get you killed.

For example, I have yet to try anything beyond a long tail cast-on. ¬†They all have these weird, foreign, fancy sounding names and it’s just too much for me. ¬†I recently found a¬†website¬†that listed no less than eleven ways. ¬†ELEVEN. ¬†The titles included such gems as “German twisted”, “Turkish”, “Italian”, “Channel Island”, “Estonian”… can these Europeans just get their act together and agree on one way to do it? ¬†With crochet, you tie a slip knot, and start. ¬†The end.

Anyhoo, with the weirdness that comes with knitting, I’ve also learned a few key terms that totally make my knitting day:

  1. As the title of this blog implies, knitting in the round. ¬†I still haven’t quite figured out the science of how knitting in the round = stockinette while knitting flat = knit and purl, and my rows are always, ALWAYS lumpy and leave weird garter gaps in the back. ¬†But oh, if you can make anything in the round, it’s just so much faster and easier.
  2. Seamless: knitting in the round naturally leads to seamless items. ¬†It’s not so much that I hate seaming (it’s actually really satisfying to stitch the two pieces together and watch your ugly curled edges magically disappear), but there is just something about knitting something flat, and then knowing you still have to wash it, block it, pull those stray yarns out of the drain like unclogging hair (gag), dry it, and THEN seam it that just makes the work so unfulfilling.
  3. Sleeveless: Okay, I have a caveat on knitting in the round. ¬†The one thing I hate more than washing/drying/seaming/undoing stitches/picking out rows/picking up dropped stitches, is knitting on DPNs. ¬†As I mentioned before, it’s just hazardous, and I still haven’t figured out the ladders. ¬†So, anything sans sleeves = fabulous.

Here are two recent examples of seamless + sleeves = sweet, sweet knitting love. ¬†Sorry, future knitting recipients – you’d better all be having girls since sleeveless tubes of clothing don’t *really* lend to boys.

DSC_0027 DSC_0028 tunic1 tunic3

Also, to that end, here are some of my queued projects on Ravelry if you want to experience your own knitting nirvana. (Click on photo to open pattern in new window.)




Welcome New Nephew!

The first grandchild on either my husband’s side or mine was born a few weeks ago. ¬†You can envision the excitement this stirred in my husband’s family… imagine something like unto the Lion King when Simba is reverently held up to the sky. ¬†His brother and wife were waiting to find out if it was a boy or girl, so I had a fun challenge trying to come up with gender-neutral items. ¬†In the end I’m lucky it turned out to be a boy, cause apparently “gender neutral” means “boy clothing that doesn’t directly involve sports teams.” ¬†But I had a feeling it was going to be a boy all along… hence the Packers mittens. ¬†ūüôā

Welcome to the world, New Nephew!

sweater1 sweater3 DSC_1140

Fancy Schmancy Stashbusters…

We all have them. ¬†Treasured in boxes, stored on shelves, lovingly collected, often taken out and admired, never used. ¬†I’m talking about our yarn stash – and not just those random leftover balls of yarn from prior projects, but those precious one-time purchases from random boutique yarn shops, or travels across the country/world, or colorways that you bought thinking “this is AWESOME, I’m sure I can find the perfect project for purple/green/mauve/mulberry yarn!” ¬†And of course, since you only bought one (because it was probably $25 and it’s not like you need two balls of purplegreenmauve yarn), and said ball of $25 yarn is, I’m sure, in a special dye lot, there you have it, that now lone ball that can never be multiplied, never turned into anything larger than a small scarflet or hat or MAYBE a pair of gloves. ¬†It just sits on the shelf, enticing you with its possibilities, begging to be used but somehow begging more to be left alone and simply admired for the things that might be, but never are. ¬†That’s how it is with my Malabrigo merino yarn, purchased in my home town in upstate New York on a quick three day leave from Beijing. ¬†It’s so soft, so beautiful, so variegated, that I’m pretty sure I’ll always just keep it, a lone hank of wonderful yarn that I occasionally pick up and rub. ¬†I know, I’m weird, but I have a feeling you yarners out there will understand.


There’s a word in Chinese: ¬†she bu de (ść®šłćŚĺó), that best translates to “hate to do/hate to part with” that perfectly sums up my attitude towards my precious stash. ¬†I am she bu de to use it up and commit it to something solid. ¬†Sometimes I prefer to just look at the un-knit/un-crocheted yarn and simply consider the possibilities of ‘what if’?

However, today I’m here to not just wax poetic on really expensive fancy yarn, but also to submit my personal collection (across Pinterest, Ravelry, and Etsy) of potential she bu de yarn busters. ¬†These all fast, almost all free, and yarn-budget-friendly, with simple stitches that showcase said yarn, and hopefully are pretty enough to deserve that skein you’ve been holding onto since 1998. ¬†I’ve done some of them, others I’m still holding on to for future she bu de yarn purchases. ¬†One can never have too many cowls… right?

(Click on picture to go to pattern link)

If you’ve REALLY got a lot of time, colorways, and desire to make sooper rainbow mitts, here you go.

I love pretty much anything from the Purl Bee, and their yarn is always gorgeous.  Plus, free patterns!

If you’ve got just a bit of extra luxurious soft yarn, whip up this hat for a baby.

First cowl of the day!  I love the wooden buttons.

So maybe this doesn’t necessarily need luxury yarn, but omg c’mon, this pattern is awesome.

This is one of the most popular patterns on Ravelry, and for good reason – it’s hard to find a very manly yet cool standard hat that any guy will be willing to wear. ¬†Ask my husband.

I’ve had this one saved for ages, and even bought eight skeins of Bernat roving to make it. ¬†I just got distracted by the forty other projects in the time it took the yarn to come in the mail. ¬†#toomuchyarn

For your super bulky yarn, this one whips up in a jiffy and is gorgeous with the repeating leaf pattern.

So. Pretty!!

If you’ve got a bit of extra yarn, this baby jacket is wonderful. ¬†It’s classic and works well for both boys and girls, and can be embellished to the nines with buttons or flowers or trim.

I could go on all day, but for the sake of your tired eyes I’ll stop. ¬†What are some of your favorite patterns for fancy yarn??